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NMSU program helps leaders refine their leadership skills

As Class 10 of the New Mexico Agricultural Leadership program graduates, another group of participants are ready to begin their 18-month learning journey through the program.

The New Mexico Agricultural Leadership program was established in 2001 with the goals of identifying and supporting effective leadership among the food, agriculture and natural resource areas.

NMAL is a program put on through the Agriculture and Extension Education department of the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

?Speaking with previous participants of the program, I learned that the most valuable experiences they had were being exposed to topics and practices with which they were not familiar, and meeting new people with diverse backgrounds,? said Claudia Trueblood, NMAL program coordinator. ?These experiences helped them broaden their perspectives and become more effective leaders in their industries and communities.?

The New Mexico Agricultural Leadership program celebrated the graduation of the 10th cohort, last month. These graduates were:
? Andy Ellett, producer and welder for Ellett Enterprises
? Darryl Multine, chief financial officer of Navajo Agricultural Products Industry
? Jason New, marketing specialist for New Mexico Department of Agriculture
? Jeff Elmore, branch manager for Helena Chemical Company
? Zach Riley, director of government affairs and North East regional director for the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau
? Scott Bailey, assistant vice president of the Farm Credit of New Mexico, Las Cruces Branch
? Terra V. Winter, associate vice president for development for the NMSU Foundation
? Traci van der Ploeg, assistant at the Mid Frisian Dairy
? T. J. Harrison, salesman for Crop Production Services
? Kathy Craig, producer for Terry Rhodes Hay & Horse

They welcomed the Class 11 into the program as well on this day. Class 11 members include:
? Newt McCarty, NMSU Extension agent at the Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service Office
? Valerie Huerta, regional director of New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau
? Lacy Levine, natural resources policy & planning analyst for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture
? Shannon Norris, NMSU ACES recruiting and retention coordinator
? Dustin Ptolemy, loan officer for Farm Credit of New Mexico, Roswell Branch
? Alicia Briggs, deputy director of New Mexico Cattle Growers Association
? Ryan Garcia, assistant corn crop manager for Navajo Agriculture Products Industry
? Cheri Lujan, district manager of East Torrance Soil and Water Conservation District
? Toby Boone, program manager at Sierra Soil and Water Conservation District

The program offers a practical, action-oriented experience in which participants meet nine times, including seven in-state seminars, a Washington, D.C., learning experience, and a seminar at an international location.

Through the seminars, participants deepen their understanding about issues relevant to New Mexico, agriculture and natural resources; find common ground with people from diverse backgrounds; expand their network of personal and organizational contacts; gain political awareness and learning the process of organizational decision making; and develop skills necessary for leadership at local, state, and national levels.